An evolutionary biologist from the University of Cambridge is claiming that men prefer intelligence over big breasts and long legs when it comes to choosing a mother for their children.

According to David Bainbridge, men value brains over beauty as they consider intelligence to be the most attractive quality in a long-term partner. This is because a woman's intelligence offers a glimpse at how responsible of a parent she will be. High intelligence also suggests being brought up by intelligent parents and being well-fed and well-cared for when they were young, hinting at good overall health as well.

While it would appear that large size would be the priority, symmetry is actually a more preferred characteristic in breasts, said Bainbridge. He also added that men might not like big breasts all that much because they have a tendency to look older sooner, and men highly value youth. As for legs, length doesn't matter either as long as they are straight--bent or uneven leg are seen as attractive because they are suggestive of developmental illness.

He added that this is not the first time that this preference has been revealed, saying that previous surveys have showed that intelligence is the first thing that a man looks for in a woman.

"It shows that she will be able to look after his children," explained Bainbridge.

Symmetry is an important characteristic because it hints at stable genes, in turn resulting into an ideal brood. However, men also like their curves, preferring women endowed with full hips and voluptuous bottoms. Carrying weight around these areas suggests that women have stored enough fat growing up to adequately supply the requirements of growing a child in their womb.

In fact, brain development in babies rely on fat stores located in the thighs and bottoms of mothers, especially when a woman is breastfeeding. How much fat a woman has available may affect directly if a child survives and how intelligent they will be.

Because fat in thighs and bottoms have such an important function, it is the hardest to get rid to as the body is instinctively saving it. Typical female mammals and primates have up to 10 percent fat in their bodies but that number swells to 30 percent on average for a human woman. This is a similar effect seen in whales in the Arctic seas or bears hibernating. As women have traded their muscles for fat, their strength is reduced to a third of what could've been their full capacity.

Photo: Ulisse Albiati | Flickr

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